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The Right Medicine 

Diane Ranck University of Sydney


Pharmacy is the study of medicinal substances and the application of their therapeutic uses in the practice of the profession. Where better to study than Sydney!

There are many career opportunities in Pharmacy - the majority of work is in community practice, but there are also hospital pharmacies or the pharmaceutical industry. Other areas include research, government agencies (usually positions concerned with the control, manufacture supply and distribution of medicine), and defence services. To become a pharmacist, you need to study four years to complete a Bachelor of Pharmacy. To become registered, you must also complete 2000 hours of practical training after  graduation (usually spent in community practice or a hospital pharmacy), take the graduate training program, and then be reviewed by the Pharmacy Board. 

Bandana: Making a difference and enjoying it! 

Bandana Saini is a currently doing a PhD in Pharmacy. She is trained as a pharmacist and also has an MBA. Her PhD research project is concerned with bringing together health care professionals, so that patient care for people with asthma can be optimised. Bandana has been working on a project designed to set up a model of care with the community pharmacist involved in provision of ongoing support and advice for individuals with asthma. Each person enrolled in the project is monitored for six months following optimisation of their care plan. The project has involved liaison with all the pharmacists at regular intervals, general practitioners, asthma educators and specialist practitioners within the region. The project has been challenging but worthwhile, and all those involved would like to see the model developed for the future. 

Christa: The right dose for the right patient 

Christa Nath is a scientist who is currently completing a part-time PhD in Pharmacy while working in Biochemistry at the Children's Hospital Westmead. Her PhD research project examines the use of an antifungal drug called amphotericin B in children who have cancer. The children that Christa studies require treatment with amphotericin B treatment because their immune system is suppressed. Given the frail nature of these patients, it is essential to give the right dose to the right patient. Christa's research investigates the concentrations the drug achieves in the body and what influences this (such as body weight and age). She is also closely examining the toxicity of this medicine to find the right balance with unwanted side effects. The aim is to devise new dose guidelines to allow children to have the best response to therapy. Christa's research combines drug analysis, clinical data collection and computer-based modelling. The collaboration with pharmacists, biochemists and oncologists (as well as the contact with very special patients) makes this research not only interesting, but very important! 

Research Opportunities 

Research in Pharmacy covers a broad spectrum of pharmaceutical and health sciences, ranging from the design, synthesis, testing and mechanism of action of drugs, through studies on methods of drug delivery and on the fate of drugs in humans and animals, to research on the clinical and sociological aspects of pharmacy. 

Maybe some of these projects might catch your eye: . 

  • Development of agents which are to be released as the active anticancer drug by enzymes chemically linked to antibodies targeted to tumour cells; . 
  • Development of interventions to increase the professional contact between pharmacists and medical practitioners using medication regimen review; 
  • Health promotion and screening in community pharmacy;
  • Consumer perceptions of, experiences of and satisfaction with professional services, and how these impact op the use of pharmacy services. 

Postgraduate courses in pharmacy allow candidates to develop their ability to define, analyse and solve problems that may be encountered in any area of health sciences. Many past higher degree students from the Faculty of Pharmacy now occupy positions of prominence in the pharmaceutical industry, universities, research institutes, hospitals and government organisations (such as the Departments of Health and the CSIRO), both locally, interstate and overseas. 

For More information:

Contact Diane Ranck Email:

For more Information Please contact:

Diane Ranck

University of Sydney

  • Dentistry

  • Health Sciences

  • Medicine

  • Nursing

  • Pharmacy


Tel: 61 2 9351 4409

Fax: 61 2 9351 9926







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